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Are Church Cliques Harmful to Your Spiritual Health?
I just couldnâ€™t fit in. I loved the worship. The messages were Christ-centered. The congregation was growing. But try as I mightâ€”I served on a team, I joined the Bible school, I went to the prayer meetingsâ€”I just couldnâ€™t fit in.
And I wasnâ€™t the only one. It was a common malady among new members. We were welcomed with open arms but then kept at armâ€™s length. The group that had helped launch the church was a near-impenetrable bunch of passionate believers. But they were very selective about who they let into their inner-circle.
This church clique even had its own buzzwords. Everything was intense. They were always stoked. Many things were profound. And they did everything in the grace of God. Thereâ€™s nothing wrong with that language, but if you came from another camp in the body of Christ into that one, your speech gave you awayâ€”and shut you out of the clique....
That's why I love my family integrated Church. We don't have 50 flavors to choose from. The kids are with the parents, or sitting with some of the older widows. The young are gaining wisdom from the parents, and pastor. Not a 20 year old kid in college in skin tight paints.. The newcomers are loved and welcomed.
You know Angela that sounds great, but that will not be the case until we see Him face to face. In the mean time, every congregation has both mature Christians and babes and everywhere in between. I think this is part of God's ingenious plan to help us learn to love people that aren't perfect, who we don't even really like at times. And they have to learn how to love us. Even the disciple, who physically had Jesus at the center of everything, where seen bickering and boasting among themselves. Unlike the person in the article, we don't go to the body exclusively for what we get, but rather how we can lift others up in the process.
If Christ is the center and focus of a church, there shouldn't be any problems with cliques... However, many don't have Him as the center and problems like this are the result. May God help us to seek Him first.